Bacon – Cured Pork Belly

prep:1 week
cook:2 hours
Show nutritional information
  • Serves: 30
  • Calories: 1217
  • Total Fat: 122g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 7g
  • Protein: 21g
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Curing your own pork belly at home to make bacon is easy! Just follow these simple instructions and you'll be frying up your own bacon in no time! The recipe below is adapted from Michael Ruhlman's recipe from his popular book, Charcuterie.

Serves: 30

Serves: 30decrease servingsincrease servings




Note, these instructions are written assuming the standard serving size, since you have modified the number of servings, these steps may need to be modified for best results
  1. Combine salt, maple sugar, maple syrup, and spices together in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Rub mixture all over the pork belly, and place into ziploc bags, add in a clove of garlic for each pound of belly.
  3. Refrigerate the belly for 7 days. Flip the bags daily to ensure even dry rub contact.
  4. After 7 days, remove the belly from the bags, and rinse the dry rub off under cold water. Pat the pork belly dry.
  5. Smoke the belly for 2 hours at 200-220 degrees. If you don't have a smoker, cook in an oven for 90 minutes at 200 degrees.
  6. Refrigerate for an additional 12 hours or freeze, then cook as you would any other bacon, and serve.


The pink salt or powdered celery juice is important for the nitrite content. This not only keeps the bacon "safe" for consumption, but it also allows the bacon to keep it's beautiful red color while cooking.

Our recipes are created using Paleo, Primal and Gluten-free guidelines. Learn more about our diet and lifestyle at

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    1. bb
      November 17, 2013

      Can I use pink Himalayan salt for the pink salt ?

    2. November 18, 2013

      Hi BB,

      No, you cannot use pink himalayan salt in place of the pink curing salt. They’re vastly different. Check out Ruhlman’s post on making bacon – I think you’ll find the post enlightening. Good luck!


    3. benjamin.foster4
      January 28, 2014

      Do you have concerns about the safety of using nitrates to cure meat? There are vast amounts of research indicating this is very detrimental to health. What are your thoughts? Is there any “healthy” alternative?

      1. January 28, 2014

        Hi Benjamin,

        No I don’t have any concerns, regarding the amounts spec’d in the recipe. You can cure bacon using celery salt which has natural nitrates (for what it’s worth, there is more naturally occurring nitrate in broccoli than most bacon). Here’s an article from the highly-respected Chris Kresser on Nitrates.

    4. creepycupcake
      February 10, 2014

      Yay! I’m gonna be makin’ bacon! Such a great recipe. Also, the info on the nitrates in broccoli surprised me! Thank you for sharing!

    5. Eyeris
      October 24, 2014

      Hi! Do you have any idea how long I can keep bacon in the fridge, unsealed?

      1. Kara McCartney
        October 27, 2014

        Eyeris the bags should ALWAYS be sealed during the curing process.

    6. auntneen
      December 10, 2014

      I just got a whole side of pork belly and am so excited to make bacon! Mine came with the skin on, should I leave it on or remove it and if I remove it, can it be used for cracklins?

      1. December 12, 2014

        I’d recommend to remove it, because it will get REALLY hard during the whole curing and cooking process. I don’t like that. I’d try to remove and make some cracklins instead! Great instinct on that! -Bill

    7. Marelize
      October 31, 2015


      I used to make salted ribs or beef, using salt, sugar and salpetre. But I now have to change my diet due to Hashimoto’ thyroiditis.

      Can I use salpetre instead of pink curing salt?

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